Many Flat Track racing enthusiasts likely mark the last Saturday in June on their calendars early. It's a twenty-seven year tradition in Lima, Ohio; it's a time when anticipation permeates the air, and the echo of screaming engines resonate from the Allen County Fairgrounds. It's a given that riders and their teams are going to show up raring and ready for battle.
Henry Wiles returned to race with team Lloyd Motorsports in 2012
Lloyd Brothers Motorsports rolled into the venue this season with vigor and high hopes of what Henry Wiles, could prove. After racing on the team in 2006 through 2008, Wiles and Lloyd Brothers went their separate ways. But he was back onboard this season, and success was on each and every members mind. "Henry is a true competitor," recalled team member, David Lloyd. "He is very dedicated as an athlete. He has tremendous natural ability on a motorcycle, combined with a high level of fitness, focus and dedication. We are never over-confident, but Henry is a proven winner at Lima. Everyone there knew he was the guy to beat."
During the qualifying race, Wiles muscled his David Gamble prepared Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/Foremost Insurance Company Flat Tracker through the field. Finishing with the second quickest time, the rider then dominated the pack in the Dash for Cash, not only taking the victory, but adding five points to his overall score. "The Dash for Cash is important mostly for the points awarded," shared David Lloyd. "We changed the suspension a little before the Dash, and it was a big step in the right direction. It was important for the main event, because it would be Henry's last time on the track before the 25-lap final."
As this was Wiles second Dash for Cash victory of the season, his confidence level was soaring going into the main event. The initial start of the race was voided when a rider in the second row started too soon, triggering a red light. AMA racing officials also cited Wiles for "rolling", which in turn took away his front position and sent him to the fourth row. Although, Wiles in an optimal position at the outset, he was clearly behind the eight-ball on the second start. But the rider had no intentions of letting his stroke of bad luck prove a hindrance. In fact, he went to work as soon as the race was deemed underway, steadily and methodically maneuvering his way through the field of riders.
Henry Wiles and Lloyd Motorsports recently missed a victory at Lima, Ohio by .22 seconds
With a few laps to go, the rider had managed to move up to the second position, and then the red flag flew. When the go-ahead was given, Wiles and fellow racer, Sammy Halbert, embarked upon a five-lap battle to the end. Henry Wiles managed to lead the race into turn three of the final lap when he was bumped from behind as Halbert tried to cut inside. When both riders had managed to get their bikes under control, Halbert had the lead and took the checkered flag only .22 seconds in front of Wiles.
"After being put on the fourth row for allegedly jumping the start, Henry made an incredible charge through the pack, ultimately arriving in the second position with five laps to go" explained his teammate. "Considering he lapped up to seventh place when he won at Lime in 2009, maybe I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was."
When asked if he thought Wiles would have walked away victorious, if not for being bumped, David Lloyd continued, "For sure. Henry led down the back strait on the last lap. That (being bumped) set Henry up, and let Sammy by. If not for that, Henry would have easily won."
Lloyd Motorsports and Henry Wiles finished the 2012 AMA season in sixth place overall
Referring to losing a race that was decided by fractions of a second, Lloyd continued, "You have to move on to the next race knowing that you were that close. Henry actually got passed at the Aprilla Flat Tracker, at Lima, in 2008 after being held up by a lapper. That night we lost by only .17 seconds. It would have been the first win for anything besides a Harley in fifteen years. As it is now, no other brand has beaten a Harley on a one-half mile in twenty years. Our bikes were closest to breaking the one-half mile win streak in 2008 and 2012 by a cumulative .39 seconds."
Although the Lima race didn't come exactly how Lloyd Motorsports and Henry Wiles had planned, they still left the venue confident that they had made a showing and wowed the fans. The points accumulated that night also played a large role in cinching a sixth place overall at the season's end.
Lloyd Motorsports and Henry Wiles are already anticipating what will transpire in the season to come and are aware that proper maintenance will play a huge role in their overall success. That in mind, the team is a strong advocate of using K&N products to keep their engines running contaminant free.
"Maintenance is everything," ensured Lloyd. "We use K&N air and oil filters, and their filter oil exclusively, in our motorcycles and vehicles. K&N products are the highest performing filters that we have tested. Flat Track racing is a dirty, brutal environment. Without K&N protecting the internals of our engines, we wouldn't be able to win."
In closing, David Lloyd said, "A strong team is the key to success. A strong team encompasses sponsors, rider and tuners; everyone who contributes positively. We have a lot of really great people and companies on our side. Our expectations are to move forward with development of our engines and chassis to become a challenger at every type of race track that we compete on."
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